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Gio Ponti all set for the big race.

Byline: Alaric Gomes

Dubai After drawing an ideal stall four on Wednesday, favourite Gio Ponti has pleased his connections with another work out in the right direction yesterday.

"He is good, very, very good. We did everything we wanted him to do today. He went into the paddock, and then he went into the gate," Christophe Lorieul, assistant trainer to Christophe Clement told Gulf News yesterday. "Most of his preparation is over. Tomorrow (Friday) he will have an easy day. Just some galloping, an easy day, nothing fancy, just a regular routine."

"I think the horse is where we would want him to be at this stage. I think he is doing very, very well," he said. The connections want to ensure Gio Ponti stays content over the next two days. Being a favourite is not always the best thing. But given his form we deserve to be in the top three going into the race. I hope he can give a good account of himself," Lorieul said.

"We just need to keep him happy until Saturday. He is peaking at the right time and we just need to do enough and maintain him at this level from now on," the Frenchman added.

Three-way battle

Race-goers are expecting a three-way battle on race night with Gio Ponti one of those touted to take a major part of the $10 million (Dh36 million) purse.

"Yes, I probably do go in as a favourite. But given a choice I would not like to be one. It's not a good thing to be a favourite, especially at such a big race. But given his form he really is the favourite," he shrugged.

Asked on how he thinks the pace will be, Clement's assistant said: "Well that is what Ramon Dominquez [Gio Ponti's jockey] will have to decide, obviously he will be the man to decide that on the track."

Lorieul was happy Gio Ponti has acclimatised well since arriving in the UAE.

"He was a bit down the first couple of days. The last weekend was great and he is improving every day. He looks better and he's been training well so far and I think we will have him the way we are supposed to have him on Saturday," he confided.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Mar 26, 2010
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